Blogs from Pakbeng, West, Laos, Asia

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Asia » Laos » West » Pakbeng January 20th 2020

One has to cross upstream, higher up, to come downstream properly… ~ Lao Proverb HE SAID... Today we were travelling southeast from Chiang Khong (Thailand) to Pak Beng(Laos). We woke early (5:30am) to catch the sunrise and prepare for an early morning border crossing into Laos. We headed down to the breakfast area of our guesthouse (which was located on the river bank) and settled at a long thin bar table overlooking the Mekong. We helped ourselves from the Bain Marie, piling our plates with stir-fried chicken, stir-fried pork, fried rice and fried eggs. I also enjoyed a small bowl of banana and yoghurt, which was very welcome – it was the first yoghurt I’d tried since arriving in Thailand. Unfortunately, the weak tea and orange cordial weren’t terribly appetising at 7am, and nor was the ... read more
breakfast with view of laos
mekong river (thailand)
our slow boat

Asia » Laos » West » Pakbeng November 10th 2017

Traveling While Asian I woke up at stupid o’clock on Thursday. My plan was to catch the first bus of the morning to the border, cross into Laos, and then make my way to the boat pier to catch the 11am boat to Luang Prabang. While I was in Chiang Rai, I resisted the urge to buy my passage there as I read that it gets cheaper closer to the departure point. So, I caught the 6am bus bound for Chiang Khong near the border for 65 baht. There were about a dozen travelers, plus some locals, on that bus. The conductor collected 65 baht from all the westerners without ascertaining their destination, and then froze when she came to me. Ah, the joys of Traveling While Asian. People often hesitate because they assume I’m from ... read more
Typical Scene on the Mekong
Scene on the Boat
The Scenery En Route

Asia » Laos » West » Pakbeng September 20th 2016

We had a bit of a panic earlier (not ours), when we were halfway to the border and David realised that he had left his satchel behind at the hotel and all of his money, passports etc, was in it. Panic and confusion reigned for a few minutes until he made certain that he had actually left his bag behind and that we would have to go back and get it. Luckily, our driver could speak English so, communication wasn’t a problem and he was soon on the phone to the hotel to confirm that David’s satchel was indeed there. David thought that he had left it on the bed in their room. We waited for a couple of minutes and, relief came when the hotel staff confirmed that they had found it. A quick text ... read more
Immigration, Chiang Khong, Thailand
Loading our bags
No Man's Land, Laos/Thailand Border

Asia » Laos » West » Pakbeng August 17th 2016

Had to drag myself sorry carcass out of bed at 5.00am to be ready for a 6.00am pickup and 7.00am departure on the Louang say, a sort of luxury version of the slow boats that plough their way from Luang Prabang to Houay Xai about 170km to the north on the Thai border. We were a little late getting under way as we were waiting for a French couple but after 15 minutes the captain gave the call and we left without them. The Mekong river boats are long, low sleek things that seem to glide effortlessly either up or downstream. There were only half a dozen passengers on board so I found a handy banquette and sprawled out. A breakfast of croissants, baguette, bananas etc was served shortly after we left then our first stop ... read more
Running repairs
Hill tribe village
Luang Say lodge

Asia » Laos » West » Pakbeng May 8th 2015

This morning started sharp at 6am being picked up by minibus along with Jenna, annalene, Erica and Katya - a lady from Germany. After picking up two more people we were on our way to Chiang khong which is on the border with Laos. 3hrs of driving we arrived at the border, got our passports exit stamped, got a farewell hug from the driver and got on a bus to take us to the Laos border. A few hundred yards down the road we parted with 36 US dollars ( normally 35 but because its Sunday its 36!) 2 passport photos, 2 forms filled out got our passports stamped and our visas and we were officially in Laos! Next stop for the day was in the back of a pickup truck and we were driven to ... read more

Asia » Laos » West » Pakbeng June 13th 2014

So we have now left Komg Lor and headed for Tha Kek on the mini bus. The journey took about 5 hours pretty much none stop apart from a comfort break so,a rather boring journey sad to say. Near the outskirts of the town we stopped to see the 'great wall' which used to surround the city to protect it. There isn't much left now but in one or two places you can see how high the wall was. I'm a bit sceptical that it was built rather than carved out of rock as it looked more like it was a natural formation rather than man made, but who am I to argue, they know their own history. We arrived at our hotel and dumped our bags and headed off for food. As luck would have ... read more
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Asia » Laos » West » Pakbeng May 25th 2014

evening! Yesterday was the day we left Thailand and headed for Laos. Breakfast was at 7 and then we left about 0745. We drove through the village in our large tuk tuk,, stopped off at the 7/11 for water and scooby snax and then headed for the border. Silly me had mislaid my exit paper work for leaving Thailand, but they gave me a new exit form to complete so I could leave the country. Once through the Thai side of the border we had to pile in a bus complete with purple curtains and accessories lol. It was a bus for everyone crossing from Thailand to Laos. There were various groups of travellers some young and some older and some local crossing the boarder. We then had to fill in the visa application form and ... read more
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Asia » Laos » West » Pakbeng December 29th 2013

We were taken from our hotel by the Mekong river down to the Thai border at Chiang Khong. It then took nearly two hours for all twenty something of us to clear immigration at Laos. Depending on our passports we all had to pay different amounts for the visa. EU citizens, Australians and Canadians pay $5 less than British passport holders and Swiss get in for free. We had to fill out a lot of paperwork and many people were confused by the system or didn’t have the right paperwork. This morning at breakfast at the hostel I met a lovely Australian couple in their sixties from Queensland. As the three of us were taking the same boat and were on the same tour I spent a lot of time talking to them whilst queueing for ... read more
lunch on the boat
water melon and papaya
our boat cruising down the Mekong

Asia » Laos » West » Pakbeng July 11th 2013

So there it was… the time has come to leave Thailand… I just couldn’t believe how fast the month flew by! It felt as if we only arrived in Bangkok and we were leaving the country already? But then looking back at the pictures, we have actually been to quite a few places since then so it shouldn’t really be a surprise that the visa was running short and that it was time to go… As sad as it was to leave Thailand it sure was exciting to be heading to Laos! I was very curious about what this supposedly laid-back country had to offer and was really looking forward to exploring it … There sure were many ways to get to Luang Prabang from Chiang Mai – 2 or 3 days by slowboat on the ... read more
on the Mekong
on the Mekong
Wat Rong Khun in Chiang Rai

Asia » Laos » West » Pakbeng January 28th 2013

A red-eye start - far too early for breakfast - and a one and a half hour bus trip to Laos Border. Or should we say Chaos Border. As you know we Brits love order and getting into queues - this was more like a 'foule francaise' .... However after two hours of papers, passports, forms, documents we finally got our visas and boarded a dug out canoe to cross the Mekong.... then mounted a water based tuk-tuk to a point further up river (or should it be down river) where we alighted our wooden longboat. Our two day trip started this morning in Houei Xai and finishes tonight in Pak Beng. Approximately 160 kilometres and 7 hours journey today - no doubt some little person should be able to work out how many miles per ... read more
keep on Trucking
Quiz 2
Ferry cross the Mekong




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